Press release from the North Coast Rivers Alliance:
The North Coast Rivers Alliance has consistently requested MMWD to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and have asked for an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) prior to approving an Intertie on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. An Intertie moves water in either direction and one day another MMWD board may well sell or transfer water Marin purchased from the Russian-Eel River Complex to the Eastbay and State Water Project. Many of our native salmon fisheries are on the brink of extinction and both the Sport and Commercial fishing industries are teetering on collapse. An EIR is the only way to know the impacts on North Coast and Central Valley fisheries.
The water Marin wants to buy comes from the North Fork of the Yuba River which was blocked by the Bullards Bar Reservoir in Yuba County. The New Bullards Bar Reservoir is impounded by the 645-foot New Bullards Bar Dam. The water will be diverted from the Delta where it is urgently needed to prevent extinction of several species of salmon, steelhead and sturgeon and then pumped at great expense and energy use 100+ miles to Marin County.
“What is ironic is I have flyfished the North Fork of the Yuba River since the 1960’s,” said Frank Egger, president of the North Coast Rivers Alliance. “The Yuba River’s native fish populations, including one of the most important wild steelhead fisheries in the Central Valley, have declined since construction of the New Bullards Bar Dam in 1969 over objections by North Coast Rivers Alliance members. Releasing water from this dam for consumptive uses in Marin County may conflict with the needs of this endangered fishery for this same water. This is just one example of why an EIR is needed.”
“The people of California have a right to know what the impacts of the Intertie will be on the state’s fisheries, both the Sacramento-San Joaquin River systems and the Russian-Eel River Complex,” he added. “MMWD leaves us no choice so we have asked the Courts to step in.”